This Shepherd's pie with sweet potato is the ultimate comfort food, a ground beef and vegetable casserole topped with fluffy sweet potatoes. Simple, delish and easy to make!
History of Shepherd's Pie
Shepherd's pie is a classic comfort food dish. Traditional shepherd's pie recipes use lamb and mashed potatoes. It's a dish that originated in the UK and Ireland and was composed of ground meat cooked in a gravy with vegetables and a potato crust.
This recipe is an easy but flavorful and delicious meal the whole family will love. I switched it up by using ground beef and mashed sweet potatoes. The sweet potatoes add a beautiful color and the perfect amount of sweetness to the dish.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Mirepoix- diced onion, carrot and celery. You can chop the vegetables yourself or you can buy a mirepoix mix at the store.
- Ground beef- ground beef adds a lot of great flavor to the shepherd's pie but can be replaced with ground lamb or ground turkey.
- Tomato paste- use ketchup if you don't have tomato paste.
- Worcestershire sauce
- Rosemary and thyme- you can use fresh or dried herbs for this recipe.
- Beef broth- if you only have chicken or vegetable broth at home, use that instead.
- Flour- the flour helps to thicken up the beef mixture and makes it more gravy-like. For gluten intolerances, use arrowroot powder or cornstarch instead.
- Sweet potatoes- any kind of sweet potatoes will work for this.
- Butter- butter is optional but makes the potatoes creamier.
The full ingredient list and quantities are listed in the recipe card below.
Cook and mash the sweet potatoes. Using a Dutch oven or large pot, boil the potatoes until they are tender. Mash using butter and beef broth and season. Set aside.
Sauté the vegetables and ground beef. Cook the vegetables and ground beef in a large skillet until softened and browned.
Season the filling. Season the vegetables and beef and mix to combine.
Assemble the pie and bake. Add the filling to a casserole dish and top with the mashed potatoes. Bake and serve.
Put your own twist on this shepherd's pie recipe.
- Add extra vegetables to the beef mixture. This recipe simply uses mirepoix, but peas, corn and/or green beans would be great additions.
- Use ground lamb or ground turkey instead of ground beef. Ground bison would also be delicious in this shepherd's pie recipe.
- Purple sweet potatoes would add a beautiful and unique color to this dish. Check out this guide to sweet potatoes to learn more about different varieties.
Store in the fridge for a few days covered or in an airtight container to have as leftovers. The shepherd's pie can also be frozen in a freezer-safe container for a few months.
Defrost in the fridge overnight or on the counter for up to 4 hours. Reheat in the microwave for about 2 minutes or in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 10 minutes.
Serve my Gluten-Free Apple Crisp with Cranberries for dessert!
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Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie
- 1 ½-2 pounds sweet potatoes peeled and cut in half
- 2 tablespoons butter optional to make the potatoes creamy
- ⅓ cup beef broth
- salt and black pepper to taste
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 1 carrot peeled and diced
- 1 celery stick diced
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary or ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 tablespoon flour cornstarch or arrowroot powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Add sweet potatoes to a large pot with water, cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-high, remove the lid and cook for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender enough for a fork to easily slide in and out.
- Drain water and mash the sweet potatoes with salt, black pepper, paprika and broth. Set aside.
- Heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add diced onion, carrot and celery. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and cook until soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add ground beef, black pepper, another ½ teaspoon salt, garlic cloves, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and mix, breaking up the ground beef.
- Add in the thyme, rosemary, nutmeg and beef broth. Stir and cook the beef mixture for 6-8 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon of flour, cornstarch or arrowroot powder to thicken, cook for 2 more minutes.
- Turn off the heat and add the mixture to a baking dish. I used a round dish but a 9x13 inch baking dish will work.
- Spoon mashed sweet potatoes over beef in a baking dish, careful not to mix the two. Using a fork make a zig-zag design. Top with a sprinkle of paprika.
- Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes. Broil for a few minutes on high if desired.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.